Cubs manager Dale Sveum pulled Starlin Castro from Saturday’s 4-0 loss to the rival Cardinals after the shortstop took a lackadaisical approach to a fifth-inning infield fly, allowing a run to score. But Castro is back in action for Sunday’s series finale and Sveum is ready to put the incident behind him.
“The way I look at it is obviously, he had enough punishment, if that’s the right word or not, but I think to be embarrassed on national TV and what has been written in the paper today, I think that’s plenty enough,” Sveum told MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat on Sunday. “These kind of things happen from time to time, they’re getting less and less. I don’t think this kid can get better by not playing today and understanding the adversity that we all go through in the game.”
Castro is batting just .244/.278/.345 in 122 games this season, which has made his defensive miscues stand out even more. If you want a replay of that botched play from Saturday, follow this link (it’s not embeddable).
The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.
Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.
The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.
After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.
Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.
Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.